Today marks 4 years since we first met. Besides your sister who we planned to meet really early, you came into this world earlier than we had psychologically planned for. Your father had me convinced you were going to be another boy and with my history of being wrong 100%, I didn't even argue. I even stupidly went so far as to think, "we will have the perfect family; two boys, and two girls". Honestly, I did not even entertain the possibility you would be a girl until two weeks prior to your actual arrival, I had a mini panic attack wondering how three girls would share one bedroom, but then reminded myself there was "no way" you were going to be a girl. Bubbie was the only one who knew, but she kept that a well-kept secret and made you your baby blanket with a matching hat and bow. She bought all of the items I had flagged in the "if baby Z is a girl" Etsy store. In hindsight, I would have picked a different color yarn for your blanket and spent more time carefully choosing outfits and bows.
Nothing about your arrival was expected or planned. By the time I was in triage and you were born it was a whopping 40 minutes and your doctor couldn't get there quick enough, he missed the entire thing, and two nurses argued over who was going to catch you, while you decided you weren't waiting for either and the next thing I knew I had you in my arms. I knew from the first moment "something wasn't right". To be honest, the nagging pit in my stomach anxious feeling has never left over the last 4 years, it just becomes muffled every once and a while. The constant worrying, panic, tear-filled moments over what is best for you have never left either, and none of it has gotten any easier.
I have shared in your three older siblings celebrating this milestone and the achievements that have brought you to today are ones they thankfully have never had to endure and I apologize that you must. I am so sorry you are celebrating today being carried from various pieces of equipment by your father, myself, and nurse Karen. I am so sorry that we might accidentally place your body in a position that could ultimately lead to another fracture for you. I am so sorry you are unable to run excitedly out of your room to see your gifts on the counter. I am so sorry that your gifts have to be signs, pillow cases, pacifiers, pacifier clips, and clothing versus the latest trending four-year-old hot commodity. I am sorry we will not be celebrating you with a party of your favorite characters, and I am so incredibly sorry I have no idea who they might even be.
I am sorry you have spent 6+ weeks total since September 16 sleeping in a bed on the eighth floor of Phoenix Children's Hospital, and it breaks my heart that undoubtedly you will spend many more during this upcoming year. I am sorry that you have spent so many minutes this past week seizing and in pain or sleeping due to those seizures. I wish my prayers and begging would have at some point over these past four years changed any of what you endure on a daily basis. I am sorry that our love for you has not changed any of how your story has unfolded or will continue to do so. I wish and pray that we could do something more for you.
My dear Sonzee bear I hope you know if it had ever been up to me alone, I would have done whatever was asked of me to ensure this was NOT the lottery you would win. I hope you know how much your siblings love you and pray for you to not have to deal with the sad parts of having a CDKL5 mutation. I hope you know that we all live for your smile and moments of happiness and contentedness. I hope you know that we treasure every moment you share with us and while not the ideal lessons of parenthood I would have asked for, I thank you for them all.
And so as you turn 4 and enter into your next year, my wish for you is that this is your best year ahead. One that will be filled with your fewest seizures and least hospitalizations. Your most smiles and endless moments of laughter. A year that you will feel less pain and suffer less. I pray that this year we solve more problems while creating fewer (or no) new ones and that you will only experience positive gains. I hope you will cry fewer tears and that your bones will strengthen, and that you will continue with more sassy days. I hope that your personality continues to shine through and that we learn to help you to communicate so we are better able to be there for you in the capacity that you actually want and need. What I really want to give you for your 4th birthday is a cure to this madness, but since that is not a possibility what I am offering to you is an unFOURgettable year ahead.